Autumn Term – LSB calls for evidence
LSB calls for evidence
To decide whether or not Will writing and estate administration and ‘related services’ should become reserved activities the LSB has instigated a call for evidence: http://www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/news_publications/latest_news/2011/050911.htm
Under the microscope
Practitioners and the media exposed the Legal Services Board and their Consumer Panel to the poor practices associated with the sale of Will writing services and the attempts by the less than honest in some cases to bundle these with up front fees for storage and estate administration. As a result the LSB’s Consumer Panel conducted an investigation and reported before the summer recess on the vulnerability of consumers who were not aware of the lack of regulation in these areas.
The report by the Consumer Panel highliighted the results of a mystery shopping exercise which found sadly that Wills prepared by solicitors firms were equally inaccurate. It has recommended that Will writing, estate administration and related services should become reserved activities.
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The LSB announced in July it would start a statutory investigation under the Legal Services Act so it has until July 2012 to make a decision. This means that the quality of Will writing and other related services will be under the microscope between now and then so be prepared.
Alternative Business Structures
Practitioners are well aware that the legal services marketplace is about to be opened up to other types of business and that the provision of Will writing and estate administration services are likely to be the first areas to receive competition (or should I say more competition) from slick, consumer driven, brands which will aim to provide excellent and innovative service delivery. The next few months will place Wills and Estate administration under the spotlight so intelligent firms will be ensuring the fundamentals of their business stand up to scrutiny by regulators, competitors and crucially their clients and prospective consumers of their services.
Just as we wave our children off to school, work, college or university and settle down to autumn let’s use the shorter days and darker evenings to shine a light on our own way of doing things and refresh our systems and processes; strenghten our knowledge and stimulate real interest in end of life matters.
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